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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE music assistant professor teaches with passion

Collegiate Chorale students fill a classroom with ethereal hymns, high tones harmoniously blending with low tones.

At the front of the room, NE music assistant professor Bobbie Douglass gestures the time with bouncing hands. Her body leans into the sections, her arms shaking for more or less volume.

She stops the singing to provide more specific instructions for a portion of the music, and her surprisingly soft voice can be heard in every corner of the room.

Douglass, who began her TCC career as an adjunct in 2005, spent over 30 years directing and conducting music and choirs for the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District.

In August, she received the  Chancellor’s Award for Exemplary Teaching for NE Campus.

She began her music career as a child playing the piano for her church and said that by the time she reached her senior year in high school, the choice to continue pursuing music was a no-brainer.

NE music assistant professor Bobbie Douglass uses all her past experiences as a teacher and student to relate to her choir classes. Photos by Eric Rebosio/The Collegian
NE music assistant professor Bobbie Douglass uses all her past experiences as a teacher and student to relate to her choir classes. Photos by Eric Rebosio/The Collegian

Douglass was trying her hand at law and working as a paralegal when TCC offered her a position.

“I love the study of law, but the day-in-day-out in a law office is pretty boring,” she said. “I was dabbling in that, and then I got the opportunity to teach a class here.”

She said her experience of being both student and teacher in different fields taught her to collect the good and discard the negative.

“Some try music, but they find that’s not their end place, and I say, ‘But that’s OK because you’re going to get some skills here that you are going to use somehow,’” she said. “We all have several things we can dabble in or do, but somehow that road narrows.”

Her students view her as the head of their choir family, who teaches from the heart.

“I like how enthusiastic she is when she’s teaching,” NE student Emily Nakoneczny said. “She’ll like move her entire body to get us to sing louder.”

Fellow NE student Mariah Jackson said the Collegiate Chorale is like a big family with Douglass leading.

“She’s the type she’ll go over and over until we reach our potential and get it right,” she said.

Douglass said she finds keeping her teaching techniques new and fresh one of the biggest challenges she faces.

“A lot of what we do is very repetitive and drill, particularly, my first-year students,” she said. “I have to really kind of think sometimes, ‘How can I teach these students to draw them in or so they get it.’”

She said that students moving forward in their education rewards her the most for her efforts.

“You feel like you’ve had a hand in developing that talent and those thinking skills so they can go there with ease. I kind of go, ‘OK, I’ve accomplished my goal, and I’m really making a difference with them, and they can go on with what their dream is,’” she said.

Douglass hopes that students can keep moving through the challenges that face students every semester.

Students need to stay focused on their dreams or their goals, Douglass said.

“We all have challenges,” she said. “Even if you have a set back, you just gotta keep your eye on that goal. I just think that for these students here, that if they would do that, they’ll get there.”

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